XOTV WEEKLY: 5 Things I Learned Working at Adobe

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Everything XOTV

Ever since I was a child, creativity was always of the utmost importance to me. Whether I was composing songs, drawing illustrations for books, or creating my own magical world of Legos – I always knew I needed to be in an environment where the unique and creativity were championed. Fast forward to my college years at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, where I was a business student studying Information Systems and minoring in Music and Media Arts. Adobe products were omnipresent in my classes and extracurricular activities on campus, and I knew that that perfect blend of creativity and technology would exist within a career at Adobe. 
For those who are unfamiliar, Adobe is a computer software company that specializes in software for the creation and publication of content, photography, video, and countless others. While Adobe has made great strides in expanding into the digital marketing management industry, they are most widely known for Photoshop, Acrobat Reader, and Creative Cloud. Founded in 1982 and headquartered in San Jose, CA, Adobe continues to be at the forefront of multimedia and creativity software products 39 years later. 
After working as a Talent Scout Intern and now returning full time as an Associate People Analyst within the Employee Experience department in San Jose (or virtually), I have accumulated 5 main lessons that I would share as key takeaways from my experience so far. 
1. Ask for genuine feedback 
Being able to tastefully give and receive feedback is an art. However, constructive feedback is crucial to growth and reaching your full potential. Many of us are not naturally good at giving feedback, and it is rarely taught and is easy to avoid. However, it is a critical leadership skill that not only helps the individual grow but fosters a better team dynamic for high performance. 
As an intern, I found that many of my coworkers wanted to be “nice” and give me positive comments on the progress I’ve made. However, those who gave me “tough love” gave me meaningful and tangible insights on how I could improve while being kind. 
2. Bring your full, authentic self to work  
Something that was always non-negotiable for me was being able to feel like myself at work. If I’m spending energy holding back on my personality and identity, it shows through in my work. Thankfully, I have been told time and time again from leadership at Adobe that diversity is our strength, and that every employee should feel comfortable to be genuine. This shines through as “Genuine” is one of Adobe’s four core values, and through all of the immense D&I efforts through Adobe’s Adobe For All initiative. This program reiterates the importance of building a diverse culture not only around race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, and age, but also around background, experience, and ideas.With seven employee resource networks and an annual Adobe For All Summit, it’s easy to find a home at Adobe and feel like your voice is valued. 
3.    Challenge the status quo (in a respectful way) 
As an intern and new hire, I always felt intimidated to challenge leadership and voice my opinions when I felt that something was off. I was told time and time again from leaders ranging from Director to C-Level that I brought a unique perspective, and that perspective was valuable. Rather than feeling intimidated by my lack of experience, I was told to use my lens as a recent college graduate to challenge older ideas and processes. Doing this in a professional and respectful way is crucial, as you don’t want to come off as overly critical or aggressive. However, by offering up my perspective and actionable solutions, I’ve found that is when I feel the most valuable.  
4.    Make friends in the workplace 
As humans, we are hard-wired for connection. During my time in the office in San Jose, I was able to make meaningful bonds through coffee chats, intern events, and networking events that were put on through the office. I found that the more I had a foundation of friendship with a coworker, the more likely they were to want to help review my work and give me career advice. I would attribute most of my career success to my friends, rather than any professional mentors.  
5. Culture is everything 
Each year, Adobe gets countless accolades and high rankings as an exceptional place to work. The common thread throughout all of these awards is their people. As cliché as it sounds, their culture of kind, innovative, and genuine people makes it the reason why there is such a high number of people who stay for 20 years. Making people feel valued and like they matter is why there is a high number of people who stay longer or come back when they leave (boomerang employees). 
All in all, I have learned countless lessons from my time at Adobe, both professional and non-professional.  

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About the Author:
Abby Landis

Abby Landis is an Associate People Analyst at Adobe in San Jose, CA. Previously, she interned for Adobe as a Talent Scout Intern for Sales in 2019. She recently graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a B.S. in Business Information System and minors in Music and Media Arts. On-campus, Abby was the Promotions Director and Radio DJ for KCPR, Director of Marketing for TEDxSanLuisObispo, and the founder of the Out Professional Engagement Network (OPEN). 
Outside of work, she is an avid foodie (follow her Instagram at @lunchingwithlandis), DJ, and a proud bunny parent.

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